TV Diary

a) "Happy Endings"
I enjoyed this show, kind of a generic sarcastic sitcom circa 2011 but some snappy writing. There's a huge watchability gap between the 3 girls in the cast, who are all really funny and/or hot, and the 3 guys, who are just kind of a drag.

b) "Sports Show With Norm MacDonald"
I was curious what kind of format this would take, since Norm has a pretty specific skill set and comedy style that only goes so far if you take him out of his element. Thankfully, this show is right in his element because it's basically Norm doing "Weekend Update" the way he used to but just with sports news.

c) "Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza"
I grew up watching reruns of the original Brit "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" on PBS, so it's always been kind of funny to see Drew Carey kind of turn the also enjoyable U.S. version into his own little improv franchise that he keeps spinning off into similar projects. This new show on the Game Show Network feels a little bit loose, maybe because it's really just a bunch of Vegas nightclub performances packaged as a show, but I miss a little bit of the format and organization of "Whose Line." In general it's just good to see guys like Ryan Stiles doing this stuff they do so well, though. I feel like there's a weird Single White Female thing going on where Drew Carey is looking more and more like Greg Proops, though.

d) "Breaking In"
Bret Harrison starred in 2 short-lived shows I really liked in the past few years ("The Loop" and "Reaper") and Christian Slater is also coming off 2 cancellations in a row, so this show doesn't seem to have great odds of survival. But I like it, it's kind of an action show but works well as a half hour sitcom because it's very fast paced and unabashedly silly.

e) "The Killing"
Since this show is being sold entirely on what a slow, gradually unfolding story it tells, it seems pointless to even say anything about it after just one episode. But so far, I like it, the cast and the look and the mood of the whole thing. I wasn't bored at all during the first 3 episodes, it never really felt like it was moving too slow or nothing was happening. It hasn't kept me on the edge of my seat per se, which I guess will only be a problem if it turns out I wasn't paying enough attention to something that turns out to be important to remember.

f) "Chaos"
The pilot of this was pretty promising, although it's been dumped into the wasteland of Friday night in the wasteland of April premieres so it seems almost pointless to form any attachment to such a doomed show.

g) "Body of Proof"
I vaguely liked this but probably not enough to watch more than one episode.

h) "Mildred Pierce"
My adoration for Kate Winslet is going a long way to getting me through this mini-series -- it's not bad at all and at times compelling but I'm not really feeling it. I appreciate that it was more faithful to the book and removed a lot of the sensational aspects of the old movie version, but the ending felt like such an anticlimactic little shrug that I kind of get why the movie changed the plot.

i) "Camelot"
The latest Starz costume drama isn't as campy and ridiculous as "Spartacus: Blood And Sand," or as well done and classy as HBO's costume dramas, but it's in kind of a mildly entertaining middle ground. The kid playing Arthur is really boring and Joseph Fiennes is cool as Merlin, but mainly Eva Green is super blazing hot and Claire Forlani is kind of a creepy-looking plastic surgery casualty.

j) "The Borgias"
Another period drama, and another one that promises lots of sex and intrigue, but man, the 2-part pilot just totally lost my interest very quickly.

k) "The Kennedys"
More cable historical drama, and this is just as garbage as everyone says, if not even worse. I tried to give Greg Kinnear the benefit of the doubt, but even he can't save this.

l) "Marcel's Quantum Kitchen"
The annoying dude from "Top Chef" with the pointy Wolverine hair has a weird science-themed cooking show on SyFy for some strange reason.

m) "Lights Out"
This show actually kind of grew on me after some initial skepticism, lot of great little performances by character actors, but the dialogue and plotting were always pretty heavyhanded, and the whole one season arc felt kind of complete without much elsewhere to go in the future that I wasn't disappointed at all by the cancellation.

n) "Bob's Burgers"
This show is growing on me more and more with every episode, so happy that it's been renewed for a second season.

o) "Hoppus On Music"
Fuse renamed this show from when it debuted last year as "A Different Spin with Mark Hoppus" but it's still pretty much the same show and it's still kind of one of the best music shows on TV, basically a variety show/talk show that's all about music. Hoppus is kind of goofy and I feel a little embarrassed for dude that he's pushing 40 with that pointy gelled up hairdo, but he is a good host and my old college acquaintance Amy Schumer is pretty consistently funny.

p) "Justified"
In the first season of "Justified," I enjoyed a lot of the one-off episodes of Raylan going after criminals but got kind of bored with the larger story arcs running through the season. In the second season, the opposite is kind of happen, as I'm kind of sitting through the baddie-of-the-week episodes impatiently waiting for the Bennett clan plot to heat up.

q) "American Idol"
I keep trying to get into this season, but I have a hard time caring about any of these singers, even if they're generally better than the last couple seasons. I was quizzed on how many of them I could name recently and I only got 2 (Casey and Pia). The new judges panel isn't as bad as I feared by I do miss Simon.
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